Smithsonian Channel Programming Head David Royle to Step Down

“PBS NewsHour” vet James F. Blue III was named head of the network last week

Smithsonian Channel programming boss David Royle is set to step down from his post at the ViacomCBS network at the end of the year, TheWrap has confirmed.

The news comes days after former “PBS NewsHour” producer James F. Blue III was appointed as the new head of the network.

A veteran Smithsonian executive over more nearly 15 years, Royle most recently served as executive vice president, programming and production. He oversaw the commissioning, acquiring and co-producing of series, specials and features for the network.

His exit follows that of former Smithsonian Networks president Tom Hayden, who stepped down earlier this year amid layoffs of other high-level executives as a result of the ViacomCBS merger. Blue will take oversight of content creation and all related experiential and event programming, reporting jointly to Nina L. Diaz and Chris McCarthy, Chief Creative Officer and President of MTV Entertainment Group, respectively.

Prior to joining Smithsonian Networks, Royle served as executive vice president of production for National Geographic, serving as executive producer on the network’s multi-Emmy Award winning “Explorer” series.

He also previously worked independent filmmaker in New York on titles such as Hedrick Smith’s groundbreaking examination of the fall of the Soviet Union, “Inside Gorbachev’s USSR”; PBS’s “Senator Sam” about the Watergate Senator Sam Ervin; “Assignment Africa” about the need to improve media coverage of Africa; and the 52-part A&E series about the Cold War “The Eagle & The Bear.”

Deadline first reported the news of Royle’s exit.